Improved stability of vitamin D encapsulated in whey protein isolate microgels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Whey protein isolate (WPI) microgels formed via cold-set gelation encapsulated vitamin D3 (VD3)
forming VD3 WPI (WPI/VD3) microgels. The microgel encapsulation efficiency and stability against
temperature (72 0C for 15 s or 63 0C for 30 min), UV-light (254 nm) and four-week storage (4, 20
and 20 0C) was analysed. The microgels encapsulated up to 98% of VD3. Moreover, the microgels
significantly improved the stability of VD3 compared with the control when exposed to environmental
stresses. An in vitro digestion model was used to assess the gastrointestinal behaviour of WPI/VD3
microgels. The oral and gastric phases revealed negligible VD3 release. However, in the intestinal phase
97% VD3 was released at the end of digestion. This indicates that the microgels can protect VD3 through
early digestion and release at the optimal phase for absorption. The results demonstrated that cold-set
WPI microgels can serve as a potential food-grade vehicle for VD3 with potential applications in functional foods.
Original languageEnglish (Ireland)
JournalInternational Dairy Journal
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2022


  • foam
  • whey protein
  • vitamin D
  • encapsulation
  • In vitro release
  • microgels
  • functional food


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